On July 5, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the Syunik Province where he met with residents of Sisian, Goris and Meghri to address their concerns about the previous government’s mismanagement and corruption and to explain the steps that his administration is taking to restore democracy.
“Armenia is owned by the Armenian citizens. Here, we should live and work with the sense of ownership,” Pashinyan said.
He congratulated those at the meeting on Constitution Day and stated that the power in Armenia belongs to the people.
“It is enshrined in the Constitution that the power in the Republic of Armenia belongs to the people, I congratulate all of you on this occasion,” Pashinyan said.
The Armenian citizen should be free, proud and feel responsible for his/her own country, Pashinyan said. He encouraged citizens to take ownership of their country and to hold those in power accountable.
“The Goris resident is the owner of the town, the remaining officials serve the Goris people. The owner of the Republic of Armenia is the citizen of Armenia, all officials serve the people. This is the change that has taken place. This is your victory, don’t allow to take it away from you. Never allow a power in Armenia which serves the clans, robbery and corruption,” Pashinyan said.
Commenting on issues voiced by Goris residents, Pashinyan said — in order to have a fair judicial system in Armenia — the executive leadership should refrain from exerting pressure on courts.
“I understand that there is no trust towards the court verdicts, but we need to do everything to increase that trust. We will reveal and remove from the system those judges which make verdicts with bribes or other illegal means, but the executive leadership should not otherwise exert pressure on the courts,” Pashinyan said.
In Meghri, Pashinyan said that the government is searching for all resources stolen from the people of Armenia by the former government and that those resources will be given back to the citizens of Armenian when found.
“We cannot arrest all, but all those who stole from the people must be arrested,” Pashinyan said. “It would be a disgrace for me if someone became a political prisoner under my leadership. For us, the values, the laws are important — we are not going to replace someone’s robbery with ours, their monopoly with our monopoly. We are going to search for any money stolen from the people in accordance with the law, and rest assured that we will do that.”
Pashinyan explained that all stolen money that his government recovers will be deposited into the state budget.
“The more firmly you stand by this process, the more consistently we can move forward. I will not stop before anything. I have obligations before you that we should return what has been robbed, regardless of the name/surname of the robber,” Pashinyan said.
During his visit, Pashinyan also visited the Meghri free economic zone.